Posted: 12:04 am Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Powers, Richardson earn POY awards 

By Jason Lieser

Two area players won Player of the Year awards and are nominated for the 2008 Mr. Football Award.


Jupiter Christian LB/RB Will Powers was voted — by statewide panel of high school football coaches and media representatives — the Class 1B Player of the Year. Eagles quarterback Marshyl Rothman finished third in the voting.

Powers is only a junior and certainly would be the favorite to win it again next season. His father, Eagles coach Bill Powers, was voted Coach of the Year for 1B.

Nu’Keese Richardson, who played virtually every skill position for Pahokee in 2008, was named Class 2B Player of the Year. Blue Devils coach Blaze Thompson also was named Coach of the Year.

Dwyer coach Jack Daniels, who won the Lou Groza Award for county coach of the year, was the runner-up in Class 4A.

All classification winners are candidates for the Mr. Football Award and the statewide Coach of the Year Award. Here is the list of nominees, straight from the Florida Dairy Farmers’ press release:

The eight finalists for the Mr. Football Award include:

Will Powers, Jupiter Christian, junior, RB/LB, 1B Player-of-the-Year:

Powers finished the 2008 season with 1,908 yards rushing on 205 attempts and 25 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 147 yards. On defense, Powers finished with 126 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, three sacks and five interceptions as his team finished with a 14-0 record and won the Class 1B state title.

Cody Ledford, Tallahassee North Florida Christian, senior, LB/RB, 1A Player-of-the-Year:

Ledford finished the 2008 season with 160 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, four sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception while also rushing for 408 yards and 12 touchdowns, as his team finished with a 10-2 record and won the Class 1A state title.

Nu’keese Richardson, Pahokee, senior, WR, 2B Player-of-the-Year:

Richardson finished the 2008 season completing 55-of-123 passes for 1,030 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 342 yards on 53 attempts and four touchdowns in leading his team to the Class 2B state title. He also caught 22 passes for 562 yards and four touchdowns. On kickoff and punt returns Richardson had a total of 589 yards and four touchdowns.

Chris Thompson, Madison County, senior, RB, 2A Player-of-the-Year:

Thompson finished the 2008 season with 1,420 yards rushing, with 330 yards receiving and a total of 21 touchdowns, as his team finished with an 11-1 record and earned a spot in the Class 2A semifinals.

A.J. Graham, Tallahassee Godby, senior, QB, 3A Player-of-the-Year:

Graham finished the 2008 season completing 225-of-361 passes for 3,870 yards and 38 touchdowns while rushing for 564 yards on 97 attempts and 10 touchdowns. He also punted 18 times for 745 yards, averaging 44.3 yards per punt, as his team advanced to the Class 3A state championship game.

Aaron Murray, Tampa Plant, senior, QB, 4A Player-of-the-Year:

Murray completed 100-of-166 passes for 1,927 yards and 30 touchdowns, while rushing for 257 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns, as his team finished with a 13-1 record and won the Class 4A state title.

Trent Richardson, Pensacola Escambia, senior, RB, 5A Player-of-the-Year:

Richardson finished the 2008 season with 2,090 yards rushing on 225 attempts (9.3 yards per carry) and 26 touchdowns.

Eugene Smith, Miramar, senior, QB, 6A Player-of-the-Year:

Smith finished the 2008 season completing 195 passes for 3,001 yards and 32 touchdowns and had 300 yards rushing. He led his team to a record of 11-2 and a spot in the Class 6A semifinals.

The eight finalists for Coach-of-the-Year include:

Bill Powers, 4th year, Jupiter Christian, Class 1B Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Powers’ team finished the 2008 season with a 14-0 record and won the Class 1B state title. His team is currently on a 27-game winning streak and he has a career record of 47-5.

Mike Hayde, 11th year, Fort Meade, 1A Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Hayde’s team finished the 2008 season as district champ on its way to an 11-2 record and a spot in the state semifinals. His teams have won nine district titles, made eight Final Four appearances, has been state runner-up five times and captured one state title in 2004. Coach Hayde has a career record of 117-35.

Blaze Thompson, 2nd year, Pahokee, 2B Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Thompson’s team finished the 2008 season with a 12-2 record and won the Class 2B state title. In his two years at Pahokee his teams have won back-to-back state titles. He has a career record of 26-2.

Corky Rogers, 37th year Jacksonville Bolles, 2A Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Roger’s team finished the 2008 season with a 14-0 record and won the Class 2A state title. In his 20 years at Bolles his teams have made 10 Final Four appearances, had two state runner-up finishes and won eight state titles. Coach Rogers has a career record of 232-29.

Shelton Crews, 14th year, Tallahassee Godby, 3A Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Crews’ team finished the 2008 season with a 12-3 record and a spot in the Class 3A state championship game. In his 10 years at Godby, his teams have won five district titles, made one Final Four appearance and had one state runner-up finish. Coach Crews has a record of 80-37 at Godby and an overall record of 102-56.

Robert Weiner, 20th year, Tampa Plant, 4A Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Weiner’s team finished the 2008 season with a 14-1 record and the Class 4A state title. In his five years at Plant, his teams have won four district titles, made two Final Four appearances and won two state titles. In his five years at Plant, Coach Weiner has a record of 54-13 and career record of 187-56.

Jerry Pollard, 20th year, Pensacola Pine Forest, 5A Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Pollard’s team finished the 2008 season with a 13-1 record and a spot in the Class 5A semifinals. His teams have won eight district titles, made three Final Four appearances, had one state runner-up finish and won a state title.

Mike Cullison, 2nd year, Sanford Seminole, 6A Coach-of-the-Year:

Coach Cullison’s team finished the 2008 season with a 13-2 record and won the Class 6A title. At Seminole, he has a record of 17-7.